Former Saskatoon Hilltops football player found guilty on weapons, drug charges

Adrian Charles

April 7, 2014, SASKATOON (ISN) – A former Saskatchewan junior football play has been found guilty of weapons and drug offences.

Adrian Charles, who used to play for the Saskatoon Hilltops, was convicted in provincial court of possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing a controlled substance.

He was also found guilty of being in a vehicle where he knew a firearm was present.

The charges stem from 2008 when Saskatoon police arrested Charles on outstanding attempted murder charges based in Pickering, Ont.

Officers searched his vehicle and found a loaded handgun and some cocaine under the floor mat of his BMW.

The attempted murder charges were later stayed.

Defence lawyer Brad Mitchell requested that sentencing be put over to May 23 to give his client a chance to go home to Toronto. The charges carry a minimum mandatory sentence of three years.

“It’s understandable that most people have a lot of things they need to arrange before … especially if (they) have a young child at home,” Mitchell said after the ruling Monday.

He said he and Charles had not yet had time to read the full decision, but Charles was “obviously disappointed.”

Charles was acquitted on a charge of possessing a firearm knowing the serial number had been removed.

The former running back, who also played for the University of Regina Rams, took the stand at his trial and testified that he had no idea the cocaine and the gun were in his vehicle.

Charles said he later found out that both items belonged to his passenger, Duane Henwood, who offered to cover Charles’s legal bills.

But Henwood denied that he had any knowledge of the cocaine or the gun.

In closing submissions, Mitchell argued that all the evidence was circumstantial and suggested that Henwood was not a reliable witness.

Crown prosecutor Bryce Pashovitz said it was hard to believe the story about the meeting with Henwood, because Charles had difficulty remembering other key details.

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